Experienced do-it-yourselfers will insist on doing everything they can before calling a professional. It is worth a try for certain jobs. Some can be handled without a professional, including putting a stop to that drip in the kitchen or bathroom. Here are some tips on how to fix a leaky faucet.
First, turn off the water on the pipes to the sink. Also remember to cover or plug the drain before you start working, so no screws or parts fall down the drain.
Second, determine what type of faucet you have. Considering this will decide what procedure you will do to repair it. Does the faucet have one handle for hot and one for cold or one that controls both?
A faucet with two handles is also known as a compression faucet. For this, you will have to remove the handles or knobs on the faucet. Use a wrench to unscrew the nut, and then unscrew the stem. When you separate those two pieces, you will reveal a small washer. You may need a screwdriver to remove it. You will need some plumbing grease, and you will need to replace the washer. But before you run to the store, you will see another piece called the O-ring. This is critical to fix your leaky faucet. This will also need to be replaced. Once you have all the parts, grease the O-ring and washer and reassemble. Hopefully your leak is gone!
The other common type of faucet, called a ball-type, has one handle that rotates for hot or cold water. It can also be repaired by doing it yourself. First, you need to remove any visible screws to lift off the handle. Use pliers to take off the cap and collar underneath the handle.
Next, loosen the faucet plug, also called a cam, and take it out. You will then be able to take out the washer and the rotating ball. With needle-nose pliers, you can reach down and remove the seals and springs inside the pipe as well. You will need to remove the O-rings and replace them with new ones coated with plumbing grease. Install all new valve seats, springs and washers on your faucet as well. Once reassembled, hopefully there will be no leaks!
If you have tried your best with no success, it is probably time to call a professional and let them figure out how to fix a leaky faucet. Don’t forget, for all of your plumbing needs, call On Time Elmer.